Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Tourism in the Mezzogiorno

A recent report from the Associazione della Città d’arte e di Cultura (Cidac) analyses cultural tourism in southern Italy. To summarise in a fairly crude fashion, the south doesn't get nearly the same visitor numbers as central or northern Italy, and a large number of its 'cultural cities' aren't even mentioned in the most popular guidebooks like the 'Lonely Planet' or 'Rough Guide' series. Naples fairs better than most, although tourist numbers fell last year due to the refuse problem (which STILL hasn't been solved in many areas - like Ercolano, where the streets are unbelievely vile). There is an interesting list of visitor numbers to major temporary exhibitions in the south in 2001 - 2008 (source). The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli dominates:
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli, Storie da un’eruzione, visitatori 256,134, anno 2003
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli, Argenti a Pompei, visitatori 229.014, anno 2003
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli, Ambre. Trasparenze dell’Antico, visitatori 195.574, anno 2007
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli, Arte e cultura in Cina, visitatori 129.793, anni 2005/2006
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli, Francesco Clemente, visitatori 126.718, anni 2002/2003 - Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli, Egittomania, visitatori 117.596, anno 2007
  • Palazzo dei Normanni Palermo, Spitzweg, Baselitz, visitatori 103.980, anno 2006
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli, Jeff Koons, visitatori 94.003, anno 2003
  • Castel Sant’Elmo Napoli, Gauguin e la Bretagna, visitatori 89.163, anni 2003/2004
  • Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Capodimonte Napoli, Tiziano e il ritratto di corte, visitatori 85.002, anno 2006.
One of the points of the report, however, is that if these exhibitions had been held in central or northern Italy, the visitor numbers would have been doubled. The conclusion: the south is failing to exploit its cultural heritage. You can read more about the report here.

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